vendredi 17 septembre 2010
Certainly not me.

(What are you dreaming? I only turned in my file 2 months ago.)

Alain.

Yep, that's right. He is officially French now.

What is required for a French person to prove they are French?
A French birth certificate? Nope, not sufficient.
A French passport? Nope, not sufficient.
A French ID card? Nope, not sufficient.

He now has his

Justificatif de Nationalité Française.

In order to get this Justificatif, he had to go to the Tribunal d'Instance of Marseille, get a list of the documents to supply, then gather:
His mother's birth certificate
His father's birth certificate
His parent's acte de marriage
His parent's livret de famille
His birth certificate
Our acte de marriage
Our livret de famille
His passport
His ID card
My ID card (carte de sejour)
Last two pay stubs
Proof of residence (the ever-important electricity bill or taxes)

He (well, mostly I) gathered all this together, then he went and dropped off the paperwork a few weeks ago. One of the many things that is a pain about dealing with French bureacracy is that they want everything to be issued less than 3 months ago, which means that we have to write to the various city halls every five months or so for yet ANOTHER copy of the act de marriage/acte de naissance.

What a pain. Anyway, I don't know what they did but he went today and picked up his justificatif. It is from the Ministère de la justice, Tribunal d'Instance Marseille

Mr. Alain
est français en application des dispositions de l'article 23 du code de la nationalité française (Loi. n° 73-42 du 9 janvier 1973). En effet, la filiation de l'intéressé, né en France, est établie à l'égard de parents eux-mêmes nés en France.

L'intéressé n'a pas perdu sa nationalité par l'effet de son mariage célébré le 26 mai 2006 à Lançon-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) avec Megan, Kathleen de nationalité étrangère; en effet, il n'a été trouvé aucune trace d'une déclaration prise en application des dispositions de l'article 23-5 du code civil.

Gee, glad he didn't lose his nationality by marrying a FOREIGNER.

We went through this hassle just in case my file for nationality via residence in France is refused and I have to request nationality via marriage (thank you city hall for the wrong information that made me waste my time and money. Still lovin' ya.)

As the French have an inordinate love of 'paperasse', I figure it can't hurt to collect any and all official documents, as you never know what hoops they are going to pull out for you to jump through.

It is a relief to have official confirmation that he is French because sometimes I have doubts as to whether he is really French or not.

Examples:
Megan: Alain, what does this French word mean?
Alain: I don't know.

Megan: Alain, how do you say this "...." in French ?
Alain: I don't know.
Megan: Are you really French?

But then sometimes he says something alongs the lines of "When I raise my harms over my 'ead I 'ave pain in my shoulders" or complains that I put the baguette upside down, and I know he couldn't possibly be anything else, not even Swiss or French Canadian.

So, Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you

The American in Provence French Nationality Test

(with a chance to earn your very own Justificatif de Nationalité Française)

1. Take a baguette. Place it, without thinking, on the table. Did you place it:
A) Right side up, of course
B) Who cares?
C) Bottom side up.
Scoring:
A) + 5 points
B) 0 points
C) -5 points - what were you thinking?! How you could you treat the national emblem in such a careless manner?! Have you no respect?

2. Using a timer, time how long you can wax on about the current state of French politics.
A) 30+ minutes
B) 15+ minutes
C) Less than 15 minutes
Scoring:
A) +25 points - You can stop now, you are clearly French
B) +10 points
C) 0 points - Watch 5 hours of French talk programs per week.

3. The phrase “oh la la” is
A) good for any situation (surprise, consternation, happiness, sadness, disappointment, etc.)
B) something only old people say
C) who says that nowadays?
Scoring:
A) +10 points
B) 5 points
C) 0 points - Say it 100 times a night before bedtime, varying tone and mood

4. How many French football (i.e. soccer) players can you name?
A) 10 or more
B) 5 or more
C) one- Zinedine Zidane
Scoring:
A) +10 points
B) + 5 points
C) 0 general French nationality points but +5 Marseillais points

5. When you go to get an official paperwork in France you take:
A) your ID card
B) your ID card + passport
C) your ID card, passport, latest EDF bill, change for the photocopy machine, extra ID photos, and your middle school diploma, just in case they ask for it.
Scoring:
A) + 5 points - If they ask for something else you didn't bring, you will just try to argue your way out of it
B) + 10 points - Well, this is French administration after all, you had better bring it.
C) 0 points - You are clearly a foreigner and have spent too much time dealing with French bureaucracy. As punishment, spend one week in the Marseille Foreigners Prefecture.

6. Halloween is:
A) A great holiday
B) What? Oh yeah, the day before Toussaint
C) An attempt by American capitalists to enforce their culture on the rest of the world.
Scoring:
A) -5 points - There is no way you can be French. You might as well stop taking this quiz now.
B) +5 points.
C) +10 points - Just the right mix of indifference and cultural superiority. Perfect.

7. You are given ten different cheeses of varying shapes and sizes and are told to cut them up into servings. You cut them:
A) perfectly by the book, depending on whether it is round, square, cube, wedge. Heck, you have been doing this since you were 4.
B) all the same- straight slices.
C) who cares?
Scoring:
A) +10 points
B) +2 points
C) -5 points - Cheese is very very important. Almost as important as politics and soccer. You must care about this in order to be French.

8. How many bises do you give someone?
A) 2
B) depends on the region, time of day, how well you know the person, whether you are saying hello or goodbye, and how many glasses of wine you have had.
C) you just keep going until they pull away and give you a weird look.
Scoring:
A) +5 - generally acceptable
B) +10 - being able to judge the correct number of bises is the penultimate skill that must be mastered for living inconspicuously amongst them
C) 0 points - Go home foreigner.

9. Being able to write correctly in French without any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes is: A) difficult
B) difficult but easier after a glass or two of wine
C) the highest achievement known to mankind and definitely worthy of a Legion d’Honneur
Scoring:
A) +5
B) +10
C) +20 - However, take care not to write better than an actual French person, because then they will get very offended that you, a foreigner, actually wrote better than they did.

10. August is:
A) the eighth month of the year
B) good for listening to cicadas and drinking rosé wine
C) vacation!
Scoring:
A) 0 points - You obviously have not tried to actually go anywhere or do anything or get anything done during the month of August in France
B) +5 points
C) +10 points.

Results:
60+ points
Congratulations! You are officially French or at least deserve to be. Download the certificate below, print it out, fill in name, date, place, and sign it. Then take it with you when you go to deal with French administration, it will make things go more smoothly, I swear.
For 10€ I will officially certify it. (After receiving photocopies of your ID card, birth certificate, marriage license, passport, 1 ID photo, electricity bill, parent’s birth certificates and middle school diploma of course. Also, please pay the 10€ fee by means of a Timbre Fiscale. These stamps may only be found at secluded, out of the way bars.)

30+ points
Spend at least two more years drinking wine, eating cheese, watching soccer, waiting in line at the Prefecture, and listening to French talk shows.

Less than 30 points.
Go back to your country. If you actually are French, you are a disgrace to La Republique Française. Your ID card, passport, and birth certificate will be confiscated and another country name will be chosen at random, to which you will be exiled.

12 commentaires:

meredith a dit…

LOL!
I've gotten in trouble for cutting blue cheese wrong.
And what about drinking beer straight from the bottle? My French husband always asks for a glass and rolls his eyeballs at me when I don't.

Karen a dit…

This is excellent! You just made my day.

Sara Louise a dit…

Number 8 gets me all the time! And what cheek your start on varies from region to region too!! Drives me nuts and always makes me feel like a moron. Every time!

screamish a dit…

what is happened to this country while I was gone??

next step is stopping people in the streets and asking for their papers. Ooops, they already do that. Especially if you're a bit swarthy and play the accordion. EERGHHHH

screamish a dit…

"what IS happened?" oops. obviously three months in Australia hasnt heklped my Englsih...

Mwa a dit…

Great post!
And what a ridiculous thing for him to have to go through...

The ColoIowaConnectifrancilite a dit…

Your BEST post ever!!
AND Congratulation!

Leigh a dit…

Hilarious! Just found your blog. I'll be roaming through your older posts. I'm just figuring out the bises program and still getting those weird looks. Sigh. I don't care. Come 'ere and gimme a kiss you French person!

Jess Manifesto a dit…

lol! Hilarious!

Switch a dit…

Very good!

Will it be a clue if I tell you I get 55 points in your test? ;)

Starman a dit…

That's the craziest thing I've ever read.

Jerilyn a dit…

What? No requirement that you be able to tie a scarf in 15 incredibly complicated ways? Beh!

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